Covetotop has never been to “The Cloisters” (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
But Covetotop has an Internet connection
The other day, Covetotop visited the amazing MET-The Cloisters website.
And there he found the picture of a beautiful apse, and the following information, concerning what the MET calls “002 The Fuentidueña Chapel” (Museum map here):
Spanish; from the Church of San Martin, Fuentidueña, Segovia
Exchange Loan from the Government of Spain, 1958
The church from which this apse comes was probably part of a castle complex, built by Christians engaged in the reconquista … To accommodate the reconstructed apse, which comprises 3,300 stone blocks, the former Special Exhibition Room was partially demolished. The new gallery, which opened to the public in 1961, was designed to simulate a single-aisle nave with no projecting transepts, a plan characteristic of twelfth-century Segovian architecture.”
Intrigued, willing to know more about the above mentioned “Exchange Loan from the Government of Spain, 1958″, Covetotop took a daring decision: to visit the real “twelfth-century Segovian architecture”.
Hence he went to Fuentidueña (province of Segovia, Spain), where he certainly found an old castle complex …
The adventurous Covetotop crossed those phantasmagoric walls …
And there he found the solitary remains of a church …
- Oh my God! -our intelligent hero exclaimed- That must be the famous “Church of San Martin, 1175–1200, limestone, exchange Loan from the Government of Spain, 1958!”
Yes, it was the Church of San Martín.
The depressing view compelled the sensitive Covetotop to dash in search of something beautiful to refresh his soul … and he found it just a few steps away, in the very same medieval village of Fuentidueña:
That’s the Church of San Miguel (12th-13th centuries).
- Thanks God there has been no exchange loan here -mused Covetotop.
- Who said yeah?
Covetotop searched the surroundings for the source of the creepy voice he had heard…
Apparently nobody was there, but suddenly … he found the source, or sources, to better say it, on the church façade:
The surprised Covetotop wanted to know more about San Baudelio and the ludicrous “Exchange Loan from the Government of Spain, 1958”, but apparently it was lunch time at the Church of San Miguel façade …
So, Covetotop thought he’d rather run away as fast as possible …
- Their cousins from Pecharromán? Mmmm … I guess those kind capitals were talking about the Romanesque Church of San Andrés, in the little village of Pecharromán (province of Segovia). It is just a ten minutes ride from Fuentidueña; so, let’s go to Pecharromán and let’s ask those Romanesque cousins about the mysterious business between Spain and USA concerning the apse from San Martín and the frescoes from San Baudelio. What a mess! –thought the intrepid, intelligent and sensitive Covetotop.
On his way to Pecharromán, Covetotop decided to make a brief stop by the wonderful Hermitage of San Vicente, another Romanesque jewel of the surroundings, just to take an atmospheric pic for this post …
Covetotop arrived in Pecharromán in a few minutes, where he visited the Church of San Andrés:
- Do any of you know anything about the mysterious business between Spain and USA concerning the apse from San Martín de Fuentidueña and the frescoes from San Baudelio de Berlanga? -Covetotop asked a group of little demons …
He was about to go away, when some friendly voices stopped him …
Covetotop asked the dragon-man for help and yes, he knew it all ..
- Thank you Mr. Dragon-man. Thank you monsters. Now I know what happened. And now I am willing to visit that ancient and solitary pre-Romanesque hermitage of San Baudelio. It’s a long ride to the province of Soria, but I have a motorcycle and I guess I’m there in two hours … -said Covetotop
Covetotop explained to those nice medieval folks what a motorcycle is and he said good-bye.
Two hours later, Covetotop found the Hermitage of San Baudelio de Berlanga in the middle of the beautiful Sorian countryside …
-What a strange building; it is really old, but it looks like an ultra-modern one. It is almost a cube. Let’s go in it! –thought the sagacious Covetotop.
Covetotop entered the cubical hermitage and … he was amazed: almost every exposed surface (the ceilings, floors, walls, ribs, squinches, central column and oratory) had remains of paintings. No doubt, the hermitage was completely ornamented with frescoes … long time ago.
The architectural structure was extremely original too.
- What a strange mix of sadness and awe I’m experiencing here –thought the audacious, sensitive, intelligent etc. Covetotop.
He also took some pics for his little bunch of loyal readers. Here they are:
Apart from feeling sadness and awe, Covetotop was very hungry. Hence he went to Berlanga de Duero, a village located not far away from the hermitage, in search of a restaurant.
On his way to the restaurant, he was impressed by the big and wonderful Gothic-Renaissance church known as “Colegiata de Santa María del Mercado” (1526-1530):
On the Colegiata wall there was an inscription concerning one of the illustrious sons of the Village of Berlanga de Duero: Fray Tomás de Berlanga (1487–1551). He was a naturalist, diplomat, adventurer and the fourth bishop of Panama. According to Wikipedia, he sailed to Peru, his ship stalled when the winds died and strong currents carried him out to the Galápagos Islands, which he thus discovered on March 10, 1535. He sent an account of the adventure and discovery to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain.
Covetotop is a great discoverer too. He discovered a very good restaurant in Berlanga de Duero, named “Casa Vallecas”, which he strongly recommends to his friends.
It is extremely improbable that any of the Covetotop’s loyal virtual friends (which happen to live in very distant galaxies like USA or Australia, or in closer ones like Italy, UK or France …) ever get lost in such a remote and little known wonder as the province of Soria, but just in case you visit the old village of Berlanga de Duero, and you want to enjoy an outstanding Castilian lunch, follow these indications:
Reference point: Castle of Berlanga …
This is the restaurant’s door …
This is what Covetotop ate …
- Sacramenia: Citizen Kane’s dream and other Spanish Romanesque Art nightmares (Part One) (covetotop.wordpress.com)